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Metal Health: A Veteran focused hands-on iron art casting workshop

September 29, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm


On Friday, September 29th, from 10 AM to 2 PM, NMIH will host a workshop led by Veteran and artist Jay Elias of Evolution Art Studios. Elias, a former United States Marine, served during the Gulf War era. Suffering from undiagnosed and untreated PTSD, he wound up on the wrong side of the law and eventually served a lengthy prison sentence. After many years of gradually declining mental health, he discovered the healing effects that art and the creative process can provide to promote both spiritual and emotional wellness. He created Evolution Art Studio to share this holistic approach to healing with other veterans and members of the community alike.

The workshop will introduce the process used to create three-dimensional sculptural forms in cast iron —patternmaking, mold-making and casting. The workshop includes instruction in the use of pattern materials. Most participants make their patterns from several pre-made forms. Workshop participants can customize their own design to these existing forms, making them unique, or build entirely from scratch using techniques demonstrated during the workshop.

On Saturday, September 30th, a public iron pour demonstration will take place outdoors in the Museum’s Foundry Park (weather permitting) with the participation of workshop registrants. Whether they attended the workshop the day before or not, anyone from the public is invited to watch the pour, where scrap iron will be recycled and melted down in a visually stunning process of fire and molten metal. After cooling down from 2700 degrees Fahrenheit, the resulting cast iron sculptures and objects will be on exhibit for the general public on Sunday, October 1st during Steel Weekend before their makers bring them home.

All activities will take place outdoors at the National Museum of Industrial History, located on the grounds of the former Bethlehem, PA, plant of Bethlehem Steel.

Participants must be prepared to work with sand and wear safety glasses. Anyone who has their own safety glasses is welcome to bring them. Limited quantities will be available on site.

Space is limited and registration is required. Free for veterans, $40 for general public. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 

Register Here



September 29, 2023
10:00 am - 2:00 pm


National Museum of Industrial History
602 East Second Street
Bethlehem, 18015 United States
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